News Alerts

27 Nov 2018 | 02:58 PM UTC

Costa Rica: Relatively low rates of mosquito-borne diseases /update 2

Costa Rica News Alert

Relatively low rates of dengue fever, chikungunya, and the Zika virus; continue to take precautions against mosquitoes

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/27/2018, 12:00 AM until 12/8/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Costa_Rica). COUNTRY/REGION Costa Rica

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Event

According to the most recent figures released by the Costa Rican government, transmission rates of mosquito-borne diseases continue to remain at relatively low levels as of late 2018. There were 382 cases of the Zika virus registered in the first 45 weeks of the year (period ending November 11), compared to 2316 reported in the same period of 2017. During the same 45-week period, 2036 cases of dengue fever and 123 cases of chikungunya were also reported, compared to 5308 and 396 in 2017, respectively. Additionally, 29 locally-acquired cases of malaria were reported.

Context

Symptoms of chikungunya include high fever, joint and muscle pain, rash, headache, nausea, and fatigue. The virus is rarely fatal but lingering joint pain can last for several weeks, even months, after the initial recovery. No treatment or vaccine for the virus is currently available.

Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, the enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging. Symptoms of chikungunya are similar; the virus is infrequently fatal but potentially debilitating joint pain can last for weeks, even months, after the initial recovery.

Symptoms of Zika - fever, headache (behind the eyes), conjunctivitis, rash, vomiting, and muscle and joint pain - can appear two to seven days following contraction of the disease, although the virus is asymptomatic in approximately 80 percent of cases. Transmission of the virus is also possible via sexual intercourse. Although the Zika virus is usually relatively benign, links between it and severe birth defects, as well as the potentially fatal neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), have been established.

Advice

Individuals present in Costa Rica - in particular, pregnant women and their partners - are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (e.g. small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).

 

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